Champion’s advice: Bye-planning + trade management

2019 winner Dez Creek gives an insight into his bye-planning strategy and use of trades.

Expert Analysis Pre-season

It’s no secret that SuperCoach is a game of forward planning and well-timed trades.

However, overplanning trades, especially around the bye weeks, can be highly detrimental to your SuperCoach team.

Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, saving too many trades during the first half of the season will more often than not leave you behind the eight ball.

Sign up to SC Playbook for detailed pre-season analysis of every top 17 player from every club in the competition + over 200 additional articles once the season kicks off.

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Bye-planning is not an exact science. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, and there’s certainly no formula to follow.

Hence, I think the best way for me to write about this topic is based on my own experience.

Last year I had 11 players in the first bye round and 12 in the second.

Obviously, these numbers aren’t even close to the full 17 that people seem to aspire towards during those rounds.

This just proves that there is no magic number, while suggesting that planning too early can expose you to more injury risks and in turn wasted trades.

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I used nearly every single trade up until the end of the second bye round (one saved in 2nd bye), which also quashes the age-old theory that you have to save trades.

You really don’t! Get your team set then save trades, don’t save trades to set your team.

It should be noted that we were fortunate to have a stellar crop of cheapies last year, while they look scarce this season, so this should be taken into consideration.

It’s important to remember that there are multiple ways to approach the bye, all of which can bring success if you select the right players.

You can opt for the sleeper strategy or the guns strategy. Fellow SC Playbook contributor Walson Carlos opted for a sleeper strategy last season, which involves buying players who will get increased minutes due to Origin outs.

The perfect example last season was Corey Waddell, who replaced Jake Trbojevic at lock for Manly and produced 69 points during the Origin bye week.

Everyone should aim for a minimum of one sleeper trade in for each bye round. I opted for the guns approach, bringing in players like Addin Fonua-Blake and Blake Ferguson who are borderline keepers in their respective positions.

The thing that I can’t stress enough when bye-planning is that you need to be watching as many games per round as possible to give yourself the best chance at winning.

Physically watching NRL gives you more insights than any stats, articles or podcasts ever will.

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You’ll start to see which players you don’t own who make you sweat and jump out of your seat when they get attacking ball.

For me, this death-riding principle stood for the whole regular season but translated across to the byes particularly well – e.g. AFB.

Remember, when picking your Round 1 team, don’t make any decisions based on who plays in the first bye round. You’ll essentially have 20 trades in between if you want to use them, I know I will be.

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